CIARON Brown has completed a permanent move to Oxford United, following a loan spell with the club last season.

The Northern Ireland defender joined the U’s from Cardiff City in January and grew stronger as the loan went on, playing at both centre half and left back.

The 24-year-old was released by Cardiff earlier this month, after making 19 appearances in four and a half seasons in south Wales.

He was loaned to United on January transfer deadline day, playing 13 times for Karl Robinson’s side, scoring once.

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After joining the U’s on a two-year deal, Brown said: “It feels good, it’s nice to be back.

“I enjoyed my time at the end of last season so I’m more than happy to be here now.

“It doesn’t feel like I’m signing, it feels like I’m coming back for pre-season because I’ve been here since January anyway.

“I bought into what the club is all about and how the team like to play and I loved my time here.

“The fans were excellent and I’m looking forward to playing my part in a successful season.” 

Since the league season ended, Brown has played in three of Northern Ireland’s four UEFA Nations League matches this month.

He played the full 90 minutes for his country in those three games, as Ian Baraclough’s team were held to two draws against Cyprus, and suffered a 3-2 defeat against Kosovo.

“I’ve had a broken summer, a few days here and a few days there but I’m enjoying my football so I can’t complain,” said Brown.

After falling short of the play-off places last season, there is a sense of unfinished business for Brown at United.

“The way the end of last season went was hard to take and everyone in the changing room knows what we can do,” he said.

“With my thought process going into that, there was only one place I was really going to come.”

Brown flew out to Spain to join up with the U’s at their pre-season training camp, with Robinson pleased to have him back in the squad – in addition to his long throw.

“He is a full international, he can play in a couple of positions,” the U’s head coach said.

“His long throw gives us an extra option and most of all he is a good player with a fantastic attitude who we believe is going to get better and better.

“He settled in well last season and we’re really pleased that he is back with us.”